Turkey withdrew from an international agreement aimed at protecting women from violence, according to several reports.
Turkey abandoned the Istanbul Convention, Bloomberg News reported, citing a decree published in the Official Gazette of the nation. The convention is a Council of Europe treaty aimed at preventing domestic violence and abuse against women.
The convention has a total of 46 signatories, according to its website, including 45 countries and the European Union. Turkey signed the convention in 2011 and ratified it in 2012.
The Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said in a statement that he The Istanbul Convention covers 34 European countries and is widely regarded as the gold standard in international efforts to protect women and girls from the violence they face every day in our societies.
“This move is a major setback for these efforts and even more regrettable because it compromises the protection of women in Turkey, throughout Europe and beyond,” Burić said.
The notice in the Official Gazette did not provide a reason why Turkey left the convention. Nevertheless, Reuters reported that divided the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family.
Conservatives in Turkey also felt that the agreement undermined family structures and that its non-discrimination based on sexual orientation promoted homosexuality, Reuters noted.
The United Nations office in Turkey said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” by Turkey’s decision, adding that it urged Turkey to “continue to protect and promote the safety and rights of all women and girls, including remaining committed to the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention.”